September 30, 2012

Tetrafusion - Horizons EP (2012)

You'll have to excuse me for the lack of activity in the past week, but I didn't really get a chance to stand down at the PC (aside from putting on a movie to help me fall asleep) and write something to share with you.

I discovered Tetrafusion sometime this past spring (I think), but only on these last few days did I have the chance to give this mini-album a proper spin, and boy did I miss out on so much! It's a fantastic piece of prog metal that really brings some freshness to the genre and make me wish such talent at songwriting would get as much recognition as possible. Every band member has massive chops, and while the solo work and vocals are top notch,  the rhythm part of the songs is what steals the whole show, especially with the crazy under-goings of the bass guitar.

The EP is available for download at and for a perfect blend of all the instruments, do check out the song Spider Silk (no worries, I'll just link it for you, lazy monkeys). Meanwhile, I'm off to research their previous albums, because I believe I've just stumbled upon the perfect candidate for the GETY category (short for Zulu's very own and personal Gem of The Year(TM) findings).

September 24, 2012

Pathology - The Time of Great Purification (2012)

Pretty much all I need this year when it comes to brutal death metal. Just look at it for fuck's sake!! Today was a good day.

September 23, 2012

A TZEEEAC Interview: Nomega

It’s a well known fact that we are some hungry dudes. Not for food, because that would be too typical and we already got things sorted out in the culinary department, but for fame and fortune.  That’s why we waste our time stalking bands and obnoxiously liking every single thing they post on Facebook, hoping that they will at least take a quick look over our log. It’s not a perfect solution, but once in a while, there’s a band that accepts to be interviewed by us.

So this is it, motherfuckers, one hot interview with the stoner-rocking Nomega. You can check them out on their bandcamp page and if you feel generous today, you can like them on their official  Facebook page. So lets get it started!

1. Hey guys, what’s up? I’m drinking some orange juice, Chester’s browsing for br00tal metal bands and Zulu… well, hell knows what he’s up to.

Nothing much, mostly resting our ears after a very loud concert last night. Could you please turn off that old radio? I keep hearing static.

2. Let’s start this interview with a series of cliched questions, because we all love cliches: How did you guys meet and what life-changing events made you form a badass stoner rock band?

We've known each other for quite a while before starting this band. I (Zan, bass) and Darius (noise guitars) have previously played in another band, quite a while ago. Seba was supposed to be the drummer in that band too, but chance had it that somebody else took his place. Years after, fed up with all the cover bands in the region and the utter lack of balls and originality, I called Seba over to my rehearsal room for some jams. A month later, we were playing our first gig, just drums and bass guitar, in a very Om-esque fashion. Darius joined us on the spot, without previous rehearsal. I remembered I told him to bring his gear over for a jam after the concert – turned out that he was perfect for the job. The band started out great and our improvisation-based approach towards music was a breath of fresh air for Timisoara. But we lacked focus. That's were George came in, about half a year later, bringing with him new ideas, new directions & heavy riffs. Since then everything remained pretty much the same, though we are known for constantly experimenting.

3. What’s your opinion on the Romanian rock scene? Did you find it satisfying and supportive in regard to your progress as a band? 

Romania's weird. We've got a lot of great, talented bands. And quite a few music lovers out there, quite a few fellows making huge efforts towards supporting the scene. But not nearly enough concert goers, interested individuals. It's my strong belief that Romanians tend to be very hard to get out of their homes. If someone very popular is playing, sure, they'll move their arse and probably even pay admittance to the gig, but if they didn't heard of you, they'll probably go to a different bar. Even if the concert's for free. Fair enough. But most Romanians aren't open to anything that's new. They're comfortable with the bands they inherited from their parents or older brothers and that's fine with them. So it's hard to get the necessary attention over here. Regardless press or blogger attention. This is true for all upcoming bands, big or small alike. We like the :Egocentrics, Methadone Skies, White Walls, Void Forger, Livia Sura and many other bands, but it's the same for them too. We got more attention from big bands like Dordeduh that we've got from regular “music lovers”. We've got more support from Serbians that we got from our own people. We've got more sales on Bandcamp, for the same price that the physical album costs, than real life CD sales. I think that says a lot.

4. While we’re at it, let’s be more specific: tell us something about the Romanian stoner rock scene. Is it as easy for a stoner rock band to survive like, let’s say, a metal band? 

There is no actual stoner scene in Romania. There's just Timisoara. You've got the previously mentioned :Egocentrics and Methadone Skies, which are more heavy psychedelic than stoner. You've got us, I don't think we're purebred either. Otherwise, in the rest of the country, there's a few sludgy bands and post-rockers, I guess we're relatives, but we're not actually from the same scene. And there's also Roadkillsoda in Bucharest, but they don't seem to be very active. Sorry, just Timisoara. 

Survival is easy. We play for fun, we play to feel good and maybe pass some of the feeling around. If that's not your main goal as a band in these parts of the woods, then you're probably too optimistic. Maybe there's a bigger metal scene out there, I'm sure there's more metalheads. And hardcore dudes. But someone recently said that stoner is like chill-out music for metal-listeners. I find it funny, but there's some wisdom behind this affirmation. Our music is digestible for a more diverse public. Without being mainstream. Some would argue that songs are too long, jams are too cluttered. But they'll still listen, even enjoy... if you can catch their attention.

5. We read on your Facebook page that you played along Nadja. Tell us more about that. Come oooon guys, don’t be shy… You knew this was coming. 

Yes, we did. One of our best gigs 'till date. They were awesome. Two (nice) people creating expansive soundscapes with only a guitar and bass. But most of the public wasn't ready for them. We may have even stole a bit of their light that evening, closing for them.

6. Would you mind sharing some craaaaazy concert stories? The prospect of destruction  and chaos makes us feel fuzzy on the inside. Hey! Stop staring at us or this interview is over.

I'm not staring. I'm silently devouring your souls. AHAHAHA!

I've said we've had lots of support from Serbians. Our concerts there were awesome in every way. We played in Belgrade this winter. Freezing cold! We arrived at the venue after about an hour of blindly circling through the capital. A former house of the free press, the building had at least 10 stories, each at least 4 meters tall, boasting dark, damp corridors, huge industrial lifts, metal staircases with the normal screeching and echoes you would expect from this kind of building. The building looked deserted and reminded me about Half-Life. But it wasn't. Inside, one or two clubs on each story – or rehearsal rooms, studios etc. Our venue, was a very large room, reminding us of our “first home”, Atelier DIY in Timisoara, with a great view of Belgrade. Sunn amps and cabinets, Marshall also. Dim lights and projections. Free food, though terrible. And lots of people, from lots of backgrounds. Even a dog. That stole Seba's food and peed on the carpet. Add a lot o' booze to the mix and you get a perfect evening. The opening bands were awesome. I really want to mention Terrarium, two guitars and girl drummer, 18-20 years old all of them. They kicked some serious ass! Great songs, and they even covered Sleep. Hazarder, the hosting band were awesome too, but we already expected that. Their guitarist also played drums in the opening band, Gypsy Wizard and the Prophets of Doom. So, great line-up, and a lot of people, all interested, all supportive. Right next door, there was a different concert, from what sounded to be a really kick-ass band also. Full room. Apparently there were 3-4 concerts a night in the weekend at Bigz (the building), and people usually commuted between concerts. Despite entrance fees. Lots of booze, but nobody behaving like idiots. 

When we started, there was quite the large mass of people in front of us. And our Seba blew them away! As soon as we finished our usual Twin Peaks intro, everything went crazy. People shouting, heads banging, beer flying overhead. Stage diving, people falling over the drums. Some guy even took a big box of CD's from the organizer's distro and threw it at our feet. George's wah pedal malfunctioned from being soaked in beer. And they couldn't get enough. Hazarder guitarist said to us about an hour and a half of constant fuzzed out madness (read this with an eastern-European accent) “Come on, play some more, don't be Romanians!”. We covered Gardenia. Total chaos! We covered Iron Man – everybody singed (shouted) along. I love Serbians.

After the concert we went to Ljuba's place (Hazarder's drummer). Had a great meal there – man, they know how to eat. And quite a few shots of Rakija (yeah, it's the same with our moonshine). Next day, Ljuba insisted we take a stroll in the park. We had to pick Saša up. That resulted in a two-three hour stay at his place with a lot of tale-telling and drink sharing. We did in fact visit Belgrade's historic center afterwards, and also ran after a tram so that we wouldn't freeze to death walking home as the warmth from Serbian liquor was fading. We left Belgrade at least 12 hours later than planned, with regret that we didn't plan to stay even more.

7. Mhm, mhm. Interesting.  Are you planning on taking this project  to the next level, like hooking up with Josh Homme?  Or maybe bringing him to Romania. Please? 

Am I boring you? Sorry, I didn't know you can have the same amount of fun in Romania too. We must be doing something wrong.
Josh Homme... sure, he should have done vocals on our album, but he canceled due to unforeseen circumstances... Kyuss Lives! got him really depressed. 

But seriously... (butt, haha), we do try convincing some bands to venture in these parts. We hope that The Grand Astoria will tour this way due to our suggestion. But the :Egocentrics with their Kamifuzzy Booking are successful in their efforts. They managed to bring My Sleeping Karma, Karma to Burn, Seven that Spells, Stonebride, Torso etc. to Timisoara, to our delight.

8. Let's talk about your awesome debut album, Deimos. We  heard in your songs some nods to early Isis and Ufomammut albums, and even some tripped out solo work that resembles Porcupine Tree when Steven Wilson was dabbling in floydian landscaping. Would you say that any of these bands were an influence to what you're showing us on this album or you just went with the flow and played whatever seemed right at the moment?

I listen to a lot of Ufomammut, so that may have been subconscious. But overall, the album was mostly a result of constant jams between members with very diverse musical tastes and backgrounds. We didn't think too much of the songs through, we just played what we felt. Normally, a lot of what impressed us at some time found a way to bleed through. Similarities to Isis, Ufomammut, Om, early PT etc. seem very likely to me, considering. 

9. We can't help but notice the up-tempo drumming that's always present, even on the slower guitar parts. Could this have been the original 'plan' or are there - buried somewhere in the midst of the recording process - some other drum patterns for the songs?

There was no actual plan. We went in the studio, waited for everything to be set up, every microphone hooked to the mixing board and the tubes to be at perfect temperature, then jammed the hell out. The sound at Consonance Studios was really good and we felt awesome, and that reflected in the outcome of the record. Some parts of the songs were completely new to us, as we literally went with the flow. A mistake on the drummers part on Sengsara turned out to be a strike of genius, and we're using that on our rendition of the song from then on. Most of Deimos is recorded in one take. The beginning of Nekkara was recorded a second time, so that I could use a different effect-pedal configuration. Only one guitar is layered, for the sake of sounding more massive. 

10. Making music without the use of vocals (excluding of course the spoken passages) needs a careful blending of ideas and, dare I say, a particular type of 'sonic' atmosphere. From what we hear, you pulled it off quite masterfully. Was there, at any point in time since the band was assembled, a focus on said vocals?

Thanks! We tried vocals (harsh) at one point, but it didn't really stick with us. Maybe at one point we'll find some vocals fitting a song, but it no way will vocals take the place of instrumental work. More likely, vocals will serve the purpose of another instrument, and help us convey our state of mind.

11. We would be glad if you kept this type of raw production on your future albums. Many a band manage to overly polish their sound over time, so much that we’re almost always drawn closer to debut albums instead of later ones. What are your humble opinions on this type of 'evolution'?

Everybody secretly wishes to sound professional. But too much tampering with the sound  is like Instagram for photos. Anyone can make something sound good with enough sound editing. But not everyone can get something to sound good in it's original, pure form. Keeping things raw is a more sincere approach. You retain most of the actual feeling of the band this way. Focusing on getting the tones right, playing as correctly as possible is much better than tons of overdubs and effects applied later. Many bands, basking in the success of their previous records, try to make a new album that will surpass the former ones. But it's this self-conceited aspiration that makes the band fail miserably in my opinion. You either have great songs, that sound right from the start, or you have to wait for more inspiration. Over polishing comes with a loss of feeling. It's the small imperfections that make you notice the true qualities of something.

We can't say that we'll keep recording our songs live, in one take, but we can say that we know Deimos has audible mistakes and we're not ashamed of them. As the guy that recorded us said, this is what represented us at the time and we should hold our heads high (hehe) and learn as much as we can from this album. It's true.

12. Right, so we've all heard pretty much every band John Garcia sings in and, of course, anything Josh Homme was ever involved with. Care to recommend some obscure/lesser known stoner/psychedelic bands to us? We hear Latin-American bands are coming in strong on this front.

You already recommended one – Ufomammut. Latin-American? Los Natas is awesome! We've been compared to Earthless and we're proud of it. We'd also recommended all the bands previously mentioned in this interview. Also listen to lots of Om and Sleep. Listen to Yawning Man, Colourhaze and Causa Sui. Listen to 35007, Sungrazer, Fu Manchu, Monster Magnet, Truckfighters, Rotor, Talbot, Hypnos 69, Dyse, Farflung, Weedeater, Belzebong, The Atomic Bitchwax, Clutch, Gomer Pyle, Wo Fat, Dozer, Buffalo, Gonzales, Blind Dog, Neubat, Eagle Twin, Bison BC, Black Bombain, Carusella, Jucifer, Zoroaster, Mars Red Sky, Kylesa, Baroness, Electric Wizard, Shrinebuilder... and anything that attends Duna Jam or Roadburn. And listen to Sabbath, man!

 13. I think we're just about done! We like to give bands the opportunity to say whatever the hell they want in the last question of the interview - mainly because we can't figure out a way to properly end it - so take it away, guys! Anything goes well.

Well, thanks for having us. Haven't we said enough already? Less words, more noise! Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!!!

September 22, 2012

Faunlet - Tryptical Part One : Nightlads

I don’t know about you guys, but I love my sweet Romanian rock. And not because of some exaggerated sense of patriotism, but because I truly believe that our local bands can go toe-to-toe with their more-known western cousins.  Though they’re not getting as much attention as they deserve, the fact that Romanian bands are getting more and more popular gives me faith in the future.

Faunlet is a young Romanian post/alternative/gaze band formed in Bucharest. The lineup consists of Peter (vocals), Duda (bass), and Volo (drums). Romanians might know Peter as the soul and heart of such bands as vaduvaBOB and Uma Swan, who became notorious by creating a sound similar to Placebo. This is rather unique in Romania because I can name countless bands that adopted a whole genre, but very few that took the style of a particular band and blended it with their own.

Now, this  shows on Fauntlet’s Ep, Tryptical Part 1: Nightlads and not really -  the only thing that sounds like Placebo is Peter’s voice, which reaches these really high-pitched notes like there’s no tomorrow.  Other than that, my strong spider sense detected a fuckload of other styles and influences, like Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, The Smiths and other obvious shoegaze bands, like My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth. I’m not saying that Faunlet are just some wannabes who want to be like their cool older brothers  and it’s very possible that I might’ve unconsciously pulled that whole paragraph about their influences out of my ass - it’s just that I can’t find a proper way to describe and label their music.  But what I CAN do is applaud their top-notch production and fine instrumental work. The songs are well built and you can feel the chemistry between the band members, who go crazy without breaking a sweat and losing focus.  The guitars  are deliciously distorted , the drumming is hypnotic and the lyrics, while having a few problems here and there, are depressing and haunting as fuck. I’m dead serious, check them out. That’s some heavy shit.

Speaking of depressing stuff, let’s sit down and analyze the songs.  The opening track, Tupique,  is a LSD trip about ( I guess) some kind of sick,  perverted form of parental abuse.  Though it scares the shit out of me, I can’t help myself but continuously listening to it. The lyrics are, as you might expect, cryptic and eerie ‘cause, you know, our name is Faunlet and we looove toying with Marco’s sanity and give him 5 heart attacks a day.  All jokes aside, they’re written in such a way that every word counts and could hide some obscure message. I’m still trying to find out what the hell they’re talking about, so if you have any bright ideas, you know where I live. The next song, Throne Away (hehehe, see what they did there? ) is friendlier  than the previous … instrumentally wise, because the lyrics are even more crazy.  Why is it that every new band that I stumble into has some weird fetish with cosmic horror motifs and gargantuan statues hit by giant, roaring waves ? It’s really scary knowing that out there are not only people who resemble me, but people who create music that is a reflection of my own insanity. Finally, the closing track, Mister P. , other than following the same formula as the previous songs, reminds me of Placebo’s Pierrot The Clown. Why? Well, besides the title, the first two verses ‘’ Your perfect white skin/ Your perfect white face’’  could be the brief description of a clown. 

If my intuition is correct and Faunlet confirms my speculation, from there on, I demand to be casted in all CSI shows, spin-offs and clones and be addressed as Sherlock Holmes. I have spoken.

September 20, 2012

Losing Skin - I: Infinite Death (2012)

Thanks to Brett for posting this fucked-up, vitriolic mess of an album. Losing Skin are another one of those metallic, crusty hardcore bands that we can't seem to have too many of these days and, sure enough, they don't stray one tiny bit from the musical recipe tons of other similar bands are known for. Raspy growls, desperate lyrics, angry riffing - the works.

I've come to realize that, when it comes to these sort of bands, my favorite one is whichever one I happen to be listening to at the time. So I guess Losing Skin is my favorite metallic hardcore band right now. Sweet!

time crawling by me

September 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Zulu!

Today is our esteemed colleague's Zulu birthday. Allegedly. We really don't know that much about him yet, all we know is that every once in a while he swoops in, drops a totally sweet review that puts Marco and I to shame, then disappears in a cloak of shadows. His identity, whereabouts and personal details are as unknown to us as they are to you. Maybe he could become our version of The Stig.

Some say he actually wrote all of Opeth's songs, he was Darkthrone's drummer before being replaced by Fenriz and he auditioned for GWAR, but got rejected for being grossed out by huge alien dongs. All we know is, he's called Zulu. 

But in the off-chance that it is, in fact, his birthday today, we just wanted to congratulate him and wish him many years of tinkering with his car and writing great reviews. Have a good one, buddy!

September 17, 2012

Abnormality - Contaminating the Hive Mind (2012)

I've just realized that I haven't posted any death metal in a looooooong fucking time. Two months or so, by my count. What the hell, guys? Why isn't anyone getting outraged by this? Is everyone really content with Zulu's 2 hour+ doom metal albums and Marco waxing vigorously over Tom Waits and gypsy punk collectives?

How about some DEATH FUCKIN' METAL?!

Contaminating the Hive Mind is the debut album by Massachusetts-based outfit Abnormality and is a solid slab of brutal death metal that's so good it'll make you headbang uncontrollably. Shitty cover art aside, this album offers some of the best brutal death tunes we've heard all year: it's a pummeling, vicious and technically-proficient album that managed to snap me out of my autumn blues and send me off into the night, behaving like a wild animal. Contaminating the Hive Mind brings both excellent musicianship and savagery to the table: the songs are varied and intense, there are a lot of awesome, blistering solos to be found, EVERYTHING IS PLAYED FUCKING FAST and singer Mallika Sundaramurthy pukes out her guts with the best of 'em, delivering a flawless vocal performance while also looking good on stage. Still, being at an Abnormality show and not having some huge sweaty guy scream at you must feel oddly unfamiliar.

Ripped jeans. Messy hair. Fake bullet belt. Pointy elbow. 2/10 would not bang.

All joking aside, you should totally give Abnormality a try. Contaminating the Hive Mind is a great start for them (even though their previous EP sounded a tad crazier) and I think we can expect more competent brutal death metal from them in the future. To round things off, here's the official video for Monarch Omega, which has one of the most lame and pointless back stories I've ever seen. Also, check out the drummer blasting away with only his socks on. Big up!

September 16, 2012

Protest The Hero - Fortress (2008)

Now that we got that out of the way, I can start laying down some praise for this album (however, I will not get upset if you choose to abandon this page and quickly go and youtube some more of this band in favor of reading on).

As you may have noticed , PTH play  (on this specific album) an aptly disguised prog metal that most of the uncultured masses of monkey heads out there choose to sign-off as metalcore. Well, IT’S NOT, and I tell you this as an individual with an extreme encompassing of musical knowledge (insert .chester here, bashing my head in, reminding me of who I really am for not listening to Summoning).

PTH are technical and over the top, charismatic, churn out some really cool riffs and don’t ever repeat them unless you choose to actually hit the repeat button in your player. They released some funny as shit videos (there it goes, I just said the ‘s’ word…) and let’s not forget about Rody Walker’s vocals, a man who can swoon you with the falsetto of Matt Bellamy, scream his lungs out right up there with the likes of Halford and occasionally release a growl that would make Cerberus bow its head in submission and simply go out and play with a bone.

With that said, I just realized I didn’t actually say anything about the album itself. Well, it’s really hard to describe (no, really) because whenever I listen to it I have the tendency to amp up the volume to some obscene levels that when reached, my mind can’t really give out a comprehensible thought.  It’s just some 41 minutes of musical bombastity (there you go, a new word for ya) that grabs you by the throat from the very first notes and never lets go (ok, so the piano bit on the end of Spoils gives out some breathing space) and when it reaches the end you’ll most likely go for the repeat button (notice how I tend to repeat the word repeat in this article? hmm, weird, I just hope I’m not repeating myself…). So I’ll wrap this up with some pros and cons and just leave you to it (to listen, that is…)

The Good: lessons in fret board navigation, lessons in arrow shooting (see the video at the beginning), lessons in making funny faces whilst belting out throat menacing screams, a cat meowing, pre-gaps (wiki page of Fortress for that) and let’ s not forget, BEARDS!! (which are cool and make you look all manly at all times).

The Bad: rather short;  the last two tracks are a bit weak compared to all of the others.

Highlights: What is this? ALL of it!

Rating: 9.5

Track List

1. Bloodmeat   
2. The Dissentience   
3. Bone Marrow
4. Sequoia Throne
5. Palms Read
6. Limb from Limb
7. Spoils
8. Wretch
9. Goddess Bound
10. Goddess Gagged                        

P.S:  I chose to speak of this album because I think it’s their best. The first, Kezia, is a prog-punk powerhouse (there you go, yet another word for ya) that while excellent in its own way, it just doesn’t reach the heights of this one, while the third release, Scurrilous (now there’s a word for the Spelling Bee), appears more like a rehash of Fortress without adding anything new to the sound; in other words, it’s plain boring (compared to this one, at least).